Black bear captured in downtown Anchorage

Posted: Sunday, June 08, 2008

ANCHORAGE - The black bear should be awake by now, far from the downtown Anchorage neighborhood where it was captured.

State wildlife biologists darted the bear Friday and hauled it out of town. There were many other bear sightings around town over the past week, according to Department of Fish and Game biologists Rick Sinnott and Jesse Coltrane, Chugach State Park superintendent Tom Harrison and residents.

Sinnott and Coltrane chased one black bear east from Point Woronzof, past Westchester Lagoon and into downtown. At the same time, Harrison was trying to decide what to do about another black bear that huffed at a hiker on the Turnagain Arm Trail just south of the city.

As it turned out, the Turnagain bear was a sow with three tiny cubs that have been seen recently in various Potter Valley neighborhoods.

Surprised by a hiker, the sow made the normal black bear noises to warn people to stay away from her young. Harrison said park personnel watched the bear until she and her cubs wandered into the woods, and park workers put up some green posters to warn hikers.

Back downtown, the darted and tranquilized downtown bear dozed in the back of a state pickup as Coltrane talked to one member of a curious crowd that had gathered to watch the bear chase.

With the aid of police officers, the biologists managed to chase this bear into the fenced backyard and tranquilize it.

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